Leukemia Research

Tremendous advances have been achieved in the treatment of childhood leukemia in the past three decades, bringing it from a disease that was once universally fatal to one with an 85 percent survival rate. UCSF pediatric researchers currently are investigating the epidemiology and cellular and genetic basis of leukemia with the aim of developing more effective treatments.

Dr. Kevin Shannon, one of the world's leading researchers in uncovering the genetic causes of leukemia, is associate director of the Pediatric Clinical Research Center and a member of the Children's Oncology Group Strategy Committee that designs national studies for children with acute myeloid leukemia. He also is the principal investigator on a component of the Mouse Models of Human Cancer Consortium of the National Cancer Institute. He is attempting to model the genetic and biochemical changes of human leukemia in mice so they can be used to develop and test better treatments for children.

Dr. Mignon Loh is using sophisticated molecular biology techniques to detect rare surviving leukemia cells in children who are in remission. This important work may allow doctors to predict which children will relapse so that different treatments can be given.

Dr. Brian Weiss is working to understand why secondary leukemia can develop in patients who are treated for other forms of cancer.

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Mignon Loh
Dr. Mignon Loh,
pediatric hematologist-oncologist